Thursday, August 30, 2012

Tapering For Merrill's Mile

It has been a while since I have actively tapered(oxymoron?) for a race. I have to remind myself that I am not supposed to run tonight. I have had more free time, but I miss the hills and fresh air. I suppose I could hike but who has time for that slower version of trail running???

I am still debating on my strategy. I thought a run/walk after 20 miles would be good, but had my run/walk based on time. After a meeting with Willy "Natureboy" Syndram I was encouraged to have points on the loop that I run and walk at. This way I don't have to watch my watch.

There is going to be a big 24 hour clock that is counting down. A 20 hour 100 miler is exactly 12 minute miles. I plan on starting out around 10-11 min/miles and varying from there.

With the Cool Running Pace Calculator I am going to print out my splits for 20 hours, 22 hours, and 24 hours. This way I can at least know if I need to be going faster if I plan on sleeping for a while, eating, etc.

I know that after the first 10 miles I will probably make my first walk point after the food and drink aid station. This will give me time to cram food down, get my head together, and keep moving. I will probably try to keep it down to .15 of a mile and keep a 17 min/mile walk pace, then hop back onto 11-12 min/miles.

The next walk point will be after the second aid station(drinks), where I will do .10 miles and keep that <17 mile="mile" min="min" nbsp="nbsp" p="p" pace.="pace.">
As I get more tired I will need more walk. I will start by extending the first aid station's walk and do the same for the second.

Instead of killing myself keeping track of my time I will look at those sheets every 5 miles to make sure I am still on pace.

It really shouldn't be too hard to stay on pace on this race since it is all flat, but in order to reach 100 miles I will have to remain stable and productive through the whole race. No quitting.

If I quit. I fail.

If I don't get 100 miles, but I don't stop, that is fine. I would love to get 100 miles, but giving a good hard attempt and knowing that I did my best is all that I need.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Merrill's Mile Training Update

Just an update on my training for Merrill's Mile. Here are some things I am doing.

As of now I am balancing between workouts and injury. I want to go out and push myself to run longer and faster. I know these workouts will help me gain muscle, lose weight, and most importantly get used to feeling not so great during a run. I have done a lot of hilly trail runs, as well as one 20 miler mountain run on 2 hours of sleep.

I am also experimenting with fluid intake. I found that after 15 miles on my long runs I get headaches. This does not change regardless of my daily diet. I am fairly confident this is due to an electrolyte imbalance. I was told by a few more knowledgeable people that I am drinking too much water and to try to be around 1 oz per mile. Of course this varies with climate/environmental factors. I am also experimenting with Thermotab salt pills and water vs. Sports Drinks. Something else that helped me with the headaches was some caffeine. Oh baby, a cup of coffee around mile 16 on my long run at the Hiker Inn of Springer Mountain made all the difference! I was also pretty far ahead of the pack and was able to take a nap. :)

I am still interested in Michael Arnstein and reading the book 80/10/10 I have started to make fruit my primary source of calories. I haven't kept up with it long, and I cheat occasionally, but judging by the intense run I did yesterday and the way I feel today I can tell that it is helping my recovery times! I think it is good to cheat a little. It keeps my body acclimated to eating things other than fruit. If I get into a jam during the run and I don't have any fruits my body will be able to handle the pretzels or anything else. I hope this diet change is one that continues to positively influence me.

To date my furthest run is only 30ish miles. I could try to go out and run further, but with Merrill's Mile so close I don't want to push it. I will just keep with what I am doing and hope for the best. There is very little I can do at this point that is going to help me in 3 weeks.

Sunday, August 5, 2012


I am currently on an airplane. Less than 45 seconds ago I was offered a drink. More recently I have been drinking and eating more fruits. I thought that I would try a juice from the cart. The cranberry apple juice blend sounded good, so I chose that.

It wasn't until I had sat down in my seat that I realized I was drinking a lie. The "juice" that I got was only 15% juice. The rest looked to be the equivalent of a Coke.

This feels like false advertising. I wanted juice but instead got high fructose corn syrup.

The worst part is, we are fooled by other products as well. For example: chicken nuggets. Chicken nuggets are not always completely chicken and I bet some are less than 50%

50% is still better than 15%. I mean, at least those crummy chicken nugget manufacturers are trying! Well, kind of.

People wonder why people are so fat.

For the most part:
  1. People make bad food choices and know it. 
  2. People may choose the healthier looking alternative and actually get something less healthy.
I think the FDA should make companies write on title of the product in clear text what the product actually is. Less than 95% real fruit juice? That is not juice, that is drink. I shouldn't have to read the fine print on a damn drink.

This change would encourage food makers to make real food or pay the price. Let the fatties that want to eat unhealthy, eat unhealthy. At least help the people that are trying.

How do you feel about this? Is there any known percentage of the named product that is required before it is considered false advertising? Could I take a muffin and call it a carrot? What about if the muffin contained 15% carrot?